Guy Kawasaki recently discussed the results of a new study that showed that thinking about money can create social barriers. The study concluded that when people have money on their mind, “they don’t want to depend on others and don’t want others to depend on them.”
Guy applied these results to the topic of evangelism of products and services. Evangelism is where a company offers monetary rewards to clients that spread the word about them. Guy says that perhaps introducing money into the relationship will not necessarily encourage the customer to spread the word, but will rather create some type of barrier that will damage the company/customer relationship.
He concludes: “My take on this is that if you have to pay your customers to evangelize your product or service, you probably donâ€™t have a great product or service.”
When I saw the study, I immediately applied it to the realm of sales. When I am talking to a potential customer, I try to make sure that my frame of mind is to find out exactly what their needs are, and to see how I can help them achieve their goals in the best way possible for them. This means that many times, I will tell potential clients that a more costly service is not necessary, and that they can save money and be just as effective by ordering a less expensive option. By trying to recommend what is best for the client, I can feel pretty reassured that when I do recommend a more costly service, it is in the best interests of the client. My frame of mind is one of “helping,” and I try to keep money far from my mind.
This method seems to work for closing the sale, and this study provides a hint as to why. Based on the study’s findings, if a person is thinking about money while trying to make the sale, they will actually distance themselves from the prospect, and be in less of a mood to help them. And this will in turn create a space between the prospect and the sale.
So you want to make money? Great – just don’t think about money.