In today’s marketplace of plenty, one of the hardest jobs is to persuade a retailer to put your new product on their shelves. Even after you have pointed out all the great new and unique features of your shiny new product, the buyer is all too quick to point out that they already have four alternatives and your lovely new line is just going to crowd the fixture, complicate the stock holding and cannibalise existing sales.
Your impressive sales pitch with all its wonderful sales projections, eye-catching P.O.S, and social media and advertising campaign makes little impression. They are unimpressed and at best ask you to come back once you have some solid sales figures from other retailers.
Your product is good, the social media and advertising are great, and your sales predictions are solid (if only the retailers would stock it), but they won’t be persuaded.
Maybe a different approach would be more successful?
The problem is your buyer doesn’t believe in your new product.
No matter how good your comms. campaign, your projected sales and revenue figures, a rational argument involving facts, figures and statistics are not going to convince them.
Belief is an emotional response.
Especially when we are at work, we like to think that we can be more rational in our judgement, and to some extent we can be, but in the end, we are all emotional beings, and they need to believe in your product.
When Kahneman introduced us all to System 1 and System 2 thinking he pointed out that the vast majority of our decisions are taken fast using System 1 thinking. This applies to us all and to our business as well as our personal decisions. We make our decisions quickly using System 1 thinking, then we justify them rationally using System 2.
Note that the decision is made first and then rational judgment is used to find the reasons to support that decision – not vice versa.
We need our buyer to believe in our product first and then we can give them all the data to support that belief.
Solid facts and figures and great comms. support are important when we are selling to retailers, but they see those from all of their suppliers.
Go the extra mile, appeal to your buyers at an emotional level first. Once they believe in your product they will be telling you that they need it, rather than you trying to sell it.
A little research into what it is about your product that will get your buyers believing and the best way to present this to appeal to them at an emotional level may require a small investment, but what is the payback when they are asking you when they can have your product as you walk in their door!
Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic:
Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and emotional responses.