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How Motivated is your Selling

 

Talking to a new contact is more valuable than first predicted. 'Pushing ourselves' to demonstrate 'our value or difference' tends to make us feel good, creating self motivation.


Q: Would you prefer to spend 5 minutes chatting to your existing customer, or meeting a new contact for the first time?

It's safe to say 'most of us' would choose the existing customer, because it's easier. But the truth is we are more heightened (motivated) when we talk to new contacts.

When you speak with an existing customer it's comfortable, relaxed and familiar; you know what you're getting. With a new contact though, anything could happen! That's what increases our emotional states & we become motivated.

With a new contact we have to make an effort. Psychologists call this 'impression management'. With existing customers we can 'be ourselves', which tends to lead to 'winging it'. With new contacts we control our behaviour more tightly & our 'impression management' goes into overdrive.

 

Read More......

It's this potential effort and positive stress of controlling ourselves with new customers that makes us procrastinate over engaging new customers. According to recent research there are hidden motivation benefits from this effort and a lesson about how we should be treating our existing customers differently.

In research by Dunn1 in 2001, a group of participants in long-term relationships predicted how comfortable it would be to interact with:

• Their existing partner.
• A Stranger of the (opposite sex)

They were asked to have a 'quick chat' and rate how good they felt afterwards.

The results indicated people enjoyed talking to their partner less than predicted.

On the other hand, they had more fun talking (motivated) to the stranger than they had predicted.

How can people be having more fun than they imagine talking to complete strangers and less with the person they are in a long-term relationship with?

What the researchers found was it comes down to whether or not you're making an effort.

Sometimes when we talk to people we know well, we don't make much of an effort to entertain, show off or to present ourselves in the best light (selling to existing). But we are more likely to make this effort with strangers (new customers).

In a follow-up study the researchers told participants to make an effort with their partners.

The result was their enjoyment of the social interaction improved in line with their predictions. This suggests we can all gain more when engaging our existing customers by developing heighten awareness from new customer meetings.

There's a fascinating point that comes out of this research.

When we predict how much value we will gain from meeting with new customers, we fail to factor in how lazy we tend to get. 

There are two morals to this story:

The sad but unsurprising fact is we take our existing contacts for granted. Yet new customer meetings increase our (sales) intuition and motivation because we extend ourselves, showing off what we have to offer rather than fall into past patterns of engagement.

When are you going to motivate yourself  to sell? 

1 Misunderstanding the affective consequences of everyday social interactions: The hidden benefits of putting one's best face forward. Dunn, Elizabeth W.; Biesanz, Jeremy C.; Human, Lauren J.; Finn, Stephanie Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 92(6), Jun 2007, 990-1005. Article adapted from PSYBLOG by Jeremy Dean, researcher at University College London.
 

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