You’ve probably heard the adage, “Sales is more art than science.” Although some people have a natural talent for sales, studies have shown that success in this field requires more than luck and intuition.
As a result, rather than relying on conventional wisdom or myth, this book takes an evidence-based approach to sales. In search of effective persuasion methods, their research takes them into the fields of sociology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics.
This book will show you how to improve your sales pitch by revealing the reasoning behind your clients’ purchasing decisions. All you need to do in your next pitch is apply the tried-and-true techniques presented here, and you’ll have a much better chance of success.
You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book summary will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
At the end of this book summary, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
The Science of Selling Summary
Lesson 1: Understanding the fundamentals of sales science will help you succeed.
Do you know anyone who is good at selling? Someone who can entice anyone with a smile and always manages to close the deal? Maybe. However, studies show that such salespeople are the exception rather than the rule.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, only one-third of salespeople are dependable. Worse, ES Research discovered that 90% of sales training produces no improvement.
The fact that any business can survive in the face of such statistics is astounding. This is not the only way things can go. Using a scientific approach to sales enables us to identify strategies that are supported by empirical data.
Many people mistakenly believe that sales ability is a fixed trait that you either have or don’t have. However, scientific evidence contradicts this. Our cognitive abilities are astonishingly malleable. And, if we put in the time and effort, our neurons can be rewired to acquire new abilities. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the human brain to change, which allows us to hone our innate skills over time.
When we are concerned about acquiring incorrect knowledge, we have a problem. Unfortunately, this happens frequently because conventional sales wisdom is based on anecdotes rather than data. Many people believe that extroverted personalities have an advantage in sales. According to research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, those who score higher than average on measures of extroversion actually perform worse than average.
Science has also revealed how to increase sales. The term “peripheral routes of influence” refers to the numerous unexpected methods for increasing sales that have been discovered through research. One type of asymmetrical influence is the dominance gap.
Offering a choice between two good options and one great option, according to this theory, increases the likelihood that a customer will make a purchase. Is there a specific reason why this helps close the deal? Because having a good alternative makes the great one appear even better.
Such techniques have been shown in scientific studies to be effective, and they are based on a single premise: salespeople perform better when they can anticipate and address their clients’ mental processes. After all, if you can read someone’s mind, you’ll have a much better chance of selling to them.
Lesson 2: Improve your customers’ mindsets and watch your sales skyrocket.
Assume that after a lengthy trial, the jury has found you guilty. The court will now decide on your punishment. You should make a strong case for mercy to the judge right now. However, studies show that bribing her with food and sleep may be more effective.
It’s ridiculous, but it’s true. According to research, judges are more likely to impose harsher sentences when they are overworked or undernourished. A judge who is well-rested and fed, on the other hand, is more likely to grant parole (65% vs. 32%).
This demonstrates that people’s actions are not always rational. Even the most unbiased authorities can be swayed by a person’s emotional state. Given that it happened to a seasoned judge, it’s safe to assume it can also happen to prospective buyers.
We like to think that our decisions are based on facts, but this is rarely the case. However, the inverse is correct. Our judgment is heavily influenced by how we feel on the inside.
According to neuroscientists, when we’re in a good mood, we’re more sociable and open to new ideas, whereas when we’re in a bad mood, we close down and become less swayable. Making a successful sale necessitates an understanding of and application of this dynamic.
Irving Janis, a behavioral scientist, conducted research that confirmed this. Experiments revealed that giving customers free snacks and drinks improved salespeople’s ability to persuade them to buy.
Obviously, a skilled salesperson will not always rely on food to boost morale when there are other options. Your body language and tone of voice, for example, can convey a positive attitude. Because of a phenomenon known as emotional cognition, these nonverbal cues can spread from one person to another. This means that in response to a person’s upbeat demeanor, people are more likely to adopt a positive mood.
A simple pleasantry exchange can go a long way. If a buyer is in a bad mood, you could try to cheer him up by asking him about his recent vacation or a hobby he has recently discovered. These casual exchanges can significantly alter the mood, allowing for a more pleasant and productive sales session. As a result, no one is upset when they part ways.
Lesson 3: Using targeted questions to effectively focus your sales pitch.
Questions are just as important to doctors as stethoscopes and thermometers. That’s why doctors ask so many questions during a visit about your symptoms, how long you’ve had the problem, what treatments you’ve already tried, and so on.
It may appear to be an interrogation, but it is actually quite productive. It’s unsettling to imagine a doctor writing you a prescription without first asking you about your symptoms. It’s as if the doctor didn’t understand you at all.
It’s the same concept as in sales. So, before pitching your product or service as a solution, make sure you’re asking the right questions.
So, why are questions so important in closing a deal? A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, for example, discovered that simply asking someone a question can influence their behavior. According to the findings, simply inquiring about a person’s voting intentions increased their likelihood of voting by 25%.
When you ask a question, you start a mental process called instinctive elaboration. The respondent’s attention will be drawn back to the question at hand. When you ask a manager about her company’s needs, she’ll most likely begin by listing the issues and concerns she’d most like to see resolved.
You should not begin your sale with detailed questions, but questions can help focus a conversation. According to a phenomenon known as social penetration theory, layered information helps people think more clearly. This emphasizes the importance of asking questions in the correct order, starting with broad inquiries and then narrowing in on specifics based on responses.
Inquiring about your customer’s revenue last quarter, for example, can help you learn the fundamentals of their current situation. Next, ask more probing questions such as, “In your opinion, why have sales slowed?” Finally, ask questions about the motivations for the purchase, such as “do you want a product that will increase efficiency by 6%?”
Using this outline, you can zero in on the issues that are most important to the client. You’ll also show how your solution solves her problems.
Lesson 4: Make deals that take the buyer’s true needs into account.
Two sisters have a heated argument over an orange in a well-known story. They decide to split the fruit as a compromise because they both believe the other wants the entire thing. To me, that appears to be a win-win situation.
No, much to my dismay. While one sibling craved the juice, the other had a cake recipe that only required the peel. If they had known each other’s true desires, they could have gotten a lot more of what they wanted.
In other words, this emphasizes the significance of attentive listening. This is especially true in the field of sales. Sometimes you can’t close a deal until you know what the buyer wants and needs.
According to the Harvard Business Review, a common trait among the most successful salespeople has been identified. They have the ability to put themselves in their customers’ shoes. Everything adds up perfectly. If you take the time to learn about your customers, you can better meet their wants and needs with a tailored sales presentation.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of salespeople fall short of even this basic requirement. They miss the mark when they fail to consider the preferences of their target audience in favor of emphasizing what is most important to them. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as inattentional blindness. If a salesperson falls into this trap, he or she may focus solely on the product’s low cost, despite the fact that the quality of the product’s functionality is what matters most to the buyer.
Learn what motivates your customers to buy to avoid falling victim to this bias. These are the most important factors that influence consumers’ final purchasing decisions, and they usually have something to do with the issues addressed by those purchases.
Use curiosity to help your customers describe their problems and find solutions. To see if they strike a chord, common issues can be suggested.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you can begin to identify additional, critical criteria that your buyers will require. Your goods or services must be at least as good as these in order to be sold.
It could be as simple as meeting your customers’ price ranges, or as complex as courting a key opinion leader at the companies where your customers work. Whatever the case may be, addressing your clients’ wants and needs in your pitch will allow you to better serve them.
The Science of Selling Review
The Science of Selling is a great book I’d like to recommend to everyone who is interested in marketing.
According to the book, you cannot rely solely on trial and error in sales. For decades, psychologists and sociologists have been researching how to improve the credibility and success of sales pitches.
Intelligent salespeople understand that the key to satisfying customers is to establish rapport by making them feel good, demonstrating how much their products or services can benefit them, and asking probing questions about their wants and needs. You will become more proficient and see more positive results if you incorporate these changes into your routine.
The best salespeople are eager to close the sale. Great salespeople are also driven by a desire to grow professionally and personally. When looking for candidates for a sales position, look for candidates who are eager to learn. Those who can propel themselves forward will ultimately be successful in life.
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