We’ve all seen the TV infomercials with the tag line, “but wait, there’s more!” There are two types of more: the positively exciting bonus kind (like getting three for the price of one), and the negative stress-inducing kind (like the monster in a horror movie that keeps coming back). Whether we’re building products or delivering services we want to think about creating the positive kind of more.
The under-discussed risk of the sales tips, tricks, and nudges we’ve all been taught to employ is that most people see them coming from a mile away. From the old school “keep them saying yes” tactics to the potential awkwardness of asking for a referral, we’ve all had the negative “more” experience. We may not always know the name for the technique, but we do know when something is future-stress inducing.
Take a moment and empathize with the customer. Recognize the Spidey-sense that starts to tingle whenever someone is about to lay on the familiar yet uncomfortable “closing” pressure, or ask us to do more work (“think of a friend or family member of equal or greater net worth to introduce me to right now!”), or make us muster the effort to say “no” and reject a fellow human. The anticipation of these emotions is future-stress
From a client perspective, future-stress is bad news for repeat business. Uncertainty, nervousness, and butterflies are all related to stress, but those can be used to create the positive type of “more” when we know how to handle them. If our goal is to make products, services, and experiences for clients who come back again and again, then we need to resolve current-stress. To paraphrase Seth Godin, we don’t want to make things clients have to push uphill, we want to make things clients can roll downhill.
The best way to get a client to talk to a friend about us is to do something for them that’s worth telling a friend about.
The best way to get a prospect to say yes is to offer them something that they really want.
The best way to keep customers happy is to understand what makes them happy in the first place.
We’re still telling a story. We’re still framing a problem we can help resolve. The difference between the negative “more” of used-car salesmen and Mind Flayers, and the positive “more” of three-for-one deals and Billy Mays is the focus is on the benefit to the customer. When we alleviate current-stress by making things clear and easy to understand, we can get much more done with even the slightest push.
1. Alleviate current-stress, don’t create future-stress.
2. Roll it downhill, don’t make them push it uphill.
But wait, there’s more! (I couldn’t resist):
3. Keep it simple and from their perspective, not complicated and from our own.