When you present or discuss your solution with buyers, do you let them touch or get in touch with your solution? Do you let them take ownership of the solution before they buy?
Research shows touch is a powerful influencer on sales decisions. Authors Joann Peck (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Suzanne B. Shu (UCLA) report the following:
“In four studies, we find that merely touching an object increases the feelings of ownership a person has for the object. This, in turn, results in a person being willing to pay more for most objects that they touch versus objects that they cannot touch,” the authors write. “We also find that when touch is unavailable, such as shopping online, having people imagine owning a product increases their perception of ownership and how much they are willing to pay for a product.”
If people have a positive or neutral response to touching an object, they are willing to pay more for it, the authors explain. However, if an object does not feel particularly pleasant to the touch, it decreases the amount consumers are willing to pay. “For most products, the touch experience is positive or neutral so merely touching a product usually increases how much a person is willing to pay for an object,” the authors write.
The research may help explain the link between touch and impulse purchasing, the authors explain. “Encouraging touch in a retail store, as Apple does for products like the iPhone, may increase the feelings of perceived ownership and influence the amount a customer is willing to pay for a product.” Likewise, offers of “free trials” for a certain time before the consumer is obligated to pay are likely to increase perceived ownership and product valuation.
Encouraging ownership imagery can be an effective way for online retailers to increase sales, even when touch isn’t possible, the authors write. “Our findings that consumers respond effectively to the combination of no-touch and ownership imagery suggests a remarkable opportunity for online retailers to increase perceived ownership and purchase.”
Fascinating information! As sales professionals, we need to get our buyers to ‘touch’ our solutions tangibly or mentally. How do we do this?
- Demos of the product where THEY are using the solution themselves, not passively observing us. Example, if we are selling a vehicle, they need to be in the drivers’ seat, not us.
- Stories and analogies are powerful for non-tangible products and services. Relate an example of how someone/company is using and benefiting from your solution.
- Pictures – not a picture of the product/service – a picture of the value/benefits of the product. If you were selling hotel rooms, showing the configuration of the room is nice, but more powerful is a picture of someone getting a good night’s rest or sitting at the well-equipped business station.
- Customer events where your customers get to talk with each other and share experiences. Using social media to do this is economical and efficient. Forums, customer showcases, Facebook pages all work.
These are thought starters, I’m sure with your creativity you will find ways to let your buyers TOUCH your solution…and increase their ownership and willingness to buy!
Please share any great ideas you have with the rest of THIS community! All comments are helpful.