Dr. Ross Honeywill says there are two types of customers – NEO’s and Traditionals. Traditionals are all about the Price. NEO’s, however, care more about Design, Authenticity, and Provenance than Price. Get the NEO to fall in love with the product and you’ll make the sale.
Roy H. Williams says there are two types of customers – Relational and Transactional. Transactional customers are all about the Price. Relational Customers, however, are looking for someone they can Trust who will lead them to the right products they can fall in love with.
The Diffusion of Innovation says there is a big chasm between the Early Adopters and the Early Majority. The Early Majority want the tried and true commodities that have a proven track record. They will go wherever they can find the best deal. The Early Adopters love the new and unique and have to have the latest, greatest, regardless of price.
You can discuss the nuance between the three theories until the end of the earth and never fully reconcile them into one theory.
Or you can pull out the one thing all three agree on and run with it all the way to the bank.
The money is in getting your customers to fall in love with your products and your store.
FALLING IN LOVE
Remember falling in love? You don’t analyze it. You don’t weigh out pros and cons. You don’t look at the features and benefits.
You draw smiley faces. You doodle his name on the worksheet you were supposed to turn in. You imagine what it will be like to be together. You visualize walking hand in hand. You picture the two of you on a date, at the park, in the movie theater. You see the future of you with this other person.
Bob Phibbs says that customers who are shopping are in a different mode than customers who are buying. Customers who are shopping are in analytical mode. They are gathering info, measuring and weighing options. Customers who are buying, however, have to get out of that mode and into wonder and love. They have to see themselves already owning and using the product.
In other words, they have to fall in love with the idea of owning the product.
You have been wrongly taught for years that your job is to give your customers information. Features and benefits, features and benefits, features and benefits. In today’s online world, they already have most of the information they need before they set foot in the store. Your real job is to get them out of analyzing the product and into visualizing already owning the product.
You can do that two ways…
Ask Visualization Questions:
- How do you see yourself using this product?
- What are your plans for this product?
- How will this look in your home?
- Where do you see yourself using this?
- What is your ultimate goal for this item?
Use Assumptive Statements and Questions:
- Most everyone who buys one of these gets a second as a backup. Do you want to get two today or just the one?
- Would you like me to giftwrap these items while you finish shopping for the rest of the list?
- You’re going to be really happy with your choice of that product.
- When you get this home, to make sure you get the full use out of it, be sure to…
Before you start thinking those sound snarky or sneaky or gimmicky, remember that your customer came into your store looking to solve a problem or fill a need. Your job, therefore, is to help her solve a problem or fill a need. If you leave her in analytical mode, you won’t solve her problem or fill her need. She’ll leave in search of more information and most likely have someone else solve her problem or fill her need.
If you make her fall in love with the product, you’ll make the sale, whether she is a NEO, a Relational Customer, an Early Adopter, or any other label you want to give her.
PS You still need to know all the information. In part, so that if she has faulty information, you can correct it. In part, because she may need one or two more pieces of information to help her visualize the product properly. In part, so that she will trust you as the expert.