Psychology and sales go hand in hand because psychology allows for sellers to pick up on subtle ques and position their products in a favorable light. The psychological aspect takes mediocre sellers and allows them to take that next step in their growth. Read along for the best sales psychology books that 2022 has to offer.
The human mind retains the most information through stories. A better way to engage prospects is not through word vomit (take a look at other participants on Zoom when this happens) but storytelling, Ala Steve Jobs. Storytelling with Data takes this approach to the next level by teaching how to communicate effectively with data. Most struggle with storytelling unless it is worked on like a muscle at the gym.
Key takeaway: A handful of people make graphs for exploratory purposes (i.e. data overload) when they should be focusing on explanation (i.e. story)so that the data can be used to tell a narrative story. This will allow the information to stick with the audience better as well as be easier to understand.
The author has six main lessons:
1. Understand the context.
2. Choose an appropriate visual display.
3. Eliminate clutter.
4. Focus attention where you want it.
5. Think like a designer.
6. Tell a story.
Quote of the book: “Having all the information in the world at our fingertips doesn’t make it easier to communicate: it makes it harder.”
Written by Richard Thaler and with more than 2 millions copies sold there is a reason this book is a must read. Thaler brings behavioral economics into the forefront of mainstream fodder. Thaler proposes that we are able to modify the environment that choices are made in, often slightly influencing the ultimate decisions of others. The goal is to nudge people in the direction of choosing the options that make their lives “longer, healthier, and better” (i.e apple instead of candy). In this engaging, easy read Thaler demonstrates that we all live with biases that are able to be nudged for the betterment of society.
Key Takeaway: When a prospect is buying groceries their decision are driven by logic. However, when faced with a new decision that does not come around as often like buying a new SaaS solution there are areas for a seller to nudge prospects. One way to nudge is to lead with value. For example, restate the prospects pain points, recommend an action and tie it all together with value that displays the benefit of moving forward with a new solution.
Quote of the book: “Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. There the authorities have etched the image of a black housefly into each urinal. It seems that men usually do not pay much attention to where they aim, which can create a bit of a mess, but if they see a target, attention and therefore accuracy are much increased.”
One of Gladwell’s first breakthrough books explores why certain trends whether socially or professionally reach a critical mass while most don’t. Gladwell explaines the research that led to mainstream ideas as “six degrees of separation” and relates social science experimentation to his overall theme of how change happens. He goes deep into the discoveries around the “broken windows” theory of policing as well as how Madison Ave. gets consumers to spend their hard earned cash a little easier.
Key takeaway: This tipping point arises because of three distinct sets of individuals: mavens, connectors and salespeople.
- Connectors: super connectors (eg Paul Revere). William Dawes had the same mission as Paul Revere that same famous night however, we haven't heard of him because Paul Revere was a super-connector and knew who to arouse the people
- Mavens: A Maven is a person who has information on a lot of different products, prices or places. This person likes to initiate discussions with consumers and respond to requests. They like to be helpers in the marketplace.
- Salesmen: people with the skills of persuasion. Good at reading people entering into "conversational harmony" with them. Facial gestures (nods, smiles, frowns) are key indicators. For example, studies showed Peter Jennings viewers voted Republican because he smiled more while covering Reagan.
Quote of the book: “Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents… When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.”
Either you are a natural born slick sales man that can close million dollar deals or you’re not. Ever hear that one before?
Brian Tracy, in his popular book The Psychology of Selling teaches that the are of selling is just a matter of learning. Methods like consultative sales approach that is heavy on open ended questions and a growth mindset are staples of Tracy. Nothing revolutionary in this book but simple lesson that when applied will have a long term effect.
Key takeaway: Always learn from others. The day you become complacent is the day you die. Tracy tells the story of a salesperson who nearly doubled his results by listening to an audio program each day on his commute. After tinkering with the various lessons he learned when he got to work, he was a brand new sales rep with the numbers to back it up. Never stop learning from those around you.
Quote of the book: “Approach Each Customer With The Idea Of Helping Him Or Her To Solve A Problem Or Achieve A Goal, Not Of Selling A Product Or Service.”
Dan Ariely, MIT professor, was nearly killed in a graduation ceremony as a teenager because of a flare that exploded right next to him. This accident has shaped his view on life, enabling him to see things that others miss. In Predictably Irrational, he proves that humans do not behave in the rational manner we assume we do. Ariely displays our irrationality through interesting examples such as the reason that shops will often display an expensive option they don’t expect to sell, why we are happy to do things for free that we wouldn’t do for money or how dishonesty varies when cash is involved.
Key takeaway: In the chapter on procrastination, Ariely divided his class into three sections, one where they got to pick their own firm deadlines one where the deadlines were decided on by the instructor, and one where there were no deadlines (submitted by the end of the quarter). Out of the three options, the forced deadlines condition did best, followed by the students who chose their own deadlines, and the no deadlines condition performed the worst. This study suggest that more external controls that we can select to prevent us from having to face temptation (to procrastinate etc.) is the best bet. How can you apply this to your day to day?
Quote of the book: “Tom had discovered a great law of human action, namely, that in order to make a man covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain.”