Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Role of Drawbacks in Sales

Selling is not hitting someone over the head with a hammer. Rather it is communicating a story, in the self-interest of the buyer that is credible, beneficial and reflects the seller as a trustworthy source of the expertise needed.

But according to Dr. Bob Cialdini, psychologist, W.P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State, the seller is more persuasive and credible if, along with the positives presented, he or she also shows some drawbacks to the case being made. I share his point of view and find that a drawback or two humanizes the seller and the case.

For example, in public relations, in the media relations side of the service, we always point out to prospects that we cannot possibly be successful in accomplishing coverage with every editor to whom we present the story.

Dr. Cialdini also cites one of my favorite ad campaigns, and one of history’s most successful, whose theme was based on a drawback: the Avis Car Rental campaign, which stressed that “we are only #2, but we try harder.”

He also notes that Warren Buffett, the famous business leader, always cites in his annual report what didn’t go well before what did go well. And his stock is usually over $100,000.

Conclusion: Being believable to your prospect is being a little imperfect in a near-perfect scenario.

Technorati Tags: Bob Cialdini, Arizona State, Avis Car Rental, Warren Buffett, media relations, sales,communications, public relations, Makovsky

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