When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous systems responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a “gut feeling”) and certain thoughts in your mind. ~ Mary Lamia, Ph.D., clinical psychologist
From 2002 – 2004, I was stationed in Georgia. One day, a door to door salesman came to our door selling a “world-changing” vacuum cleaner. The first thing he did was offer me a free hat because I had opened the door. He then went into his pitch. I politely interrupted telling him we weren’t interested.
Maximize your prospecting with emotional triggers
He then asked me a second request. Would I allow him to give me a demonstration? If nothing else, he would clean part of our house for us. I said yes.
One hour later, he was still in my home. Truth be told, I’ve never been more impressed with a vacuum cleaner. The only thing that kept me from buying it was it was very expensive. We simply didn’t have the money.
This salesman did a fantastic job using emotional triggers to get a desired result from me. And it worked…almost. Emotional triggers fall in the realm of evolutionary psychology. Essentially, triggers are events and tactics that “trigger” certain emotions. If you understand emotional triggers, you can use them to your advantage.
Everyone in sales should use emotional triggers in their prospecting to produce the results they desire.
11 Triggers to Maximize Your Prospecting
- Stories – Use stories any time it is appropriate. We have been trained from the beginning of time to listen to stories. More than that, stories help your prospect identify with you or with your current clients. Notice that nearly every post I write starts out with a story. I’m trying to pull you in. You want to do that with your prospects.
- Reciprocity – Reciprocity is the idea that if I give something to you, you naturally want to return the favor. This is a very powerful trigger in our culture. Notice the vacuum salesman gave me a free hat when I answered the door. He was using the mental trigger of reciprocity on me. So what could you offer your prospects for free to encourage them to meet with you?
- Follow-up Question – I want you to circle this one in your mind. It is very difficult to say no to someone twice in a row. This is why you should always have the back up request ready. Notice how the vacuum salesman had his second request ready when I declined his initial pitch. When you call a prospect, always have the second request ready. You will be amazed at the results.
- Events – People love to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Whether it is a webinar, a golf outing, a broker or investor forum, or anything else you can think to create, events draw people.
- Proof – Be ready with testimonials to back up any of your claims or benefit statements. Testimonials or case studies are so powerful because they validate what you say. If someone calls me on the phone and says they are awesome, that is marketing. I probably won’t believe it. However, if I read a testimonial about how awesome someone is, I am likely to believe it. Remember these stats. 90% of people believe an endorsement of a product/service from someone they know. 70% of people believe an endorsement from someone they don’t know!
- Social Proof – Social proof is different than proof as it communicates what others are doing. I was at a trade show recently in San Diego. My colleague and I were trying to find a place to eat dinner. We walked by this really cool looking restaurant but there were only 4 people in there. We waited for 30 minutes to get into the place next door because it was busy. Use social proof to your advantage. How many clients do you have? How many people are registered for webinar? How many yard signs does a particular candidate have around town? These are all forms of social proof.
- Authority – People tend to follow or believe those with authority. The best way to establish authority in your industry and market is to demonstrate your expertise by publishing. Lucky for you, it has never been easier to pull this off. I explain to you how in this post.
- Scarcity – TV commercials do this all the time. A special offer is only good for the next 10 callers. When there is less of something, people naturally want it more. If you are in CRE, you certainly know this to be true relating to value of a property. Use this to your advantage.
- Urgency – Urgency goes right along with scarcity with a small difference. Urgency deals with a deadline. This deal is only good for the next 3 days, etc. Urgency helps people pull the trigger. Urgency must be real or it loses its power. There is a jewelry store downtown that has a going out of business sale every 6 months trying to create a sense of urgency. Well, that isn’t true so this trigger has lost its power for them.
- Likability – People do business with people they like and trust. It is as simple as that. There is a danger here, however. Authenticity matters more. So be as likable as you can while still be authentic.
- Reason – Any time you are prospecting, especially by phone, the person on the other end is asking themselves one question. “So what?” You need to be answering that question. Give them a reason why they need you – why they should meet with you. Any time you are going to share something you do or sell, always take it a step farther and tell them how that benefits them. Don’t leave that up to them to figure out.
Now you may be thinking, this is all manipulation. But it all depends on where you are coming from. If you start from the place where you are actually trying to bring people value and put people’s best interests in front of your own, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you are out for what you get out of it…
So here is what I’d like to hear from you in the comments below. How can you employ these triggers to generate more meetings without manipulating your prospects and being viewed as a used car salesman? I’d love to know what you think.
As a special gift, I have created a free PDF of these 11 mental triggers to maximize your prospecting. If you would like to download them, simply click on the button below.
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