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The Instinct of Herding: How Sales Professionals Can Capitalize on it to Sell More. Part 2 By Skip Anderson

Herd Mentality in Selling

Wouldn’t it be great if you could leverage these behaviors, which I have termed herd mentality, to help you sell more?

You can! Here are FIVE ways to use herd mentality to grow your sales revenue:

1. Let’s imagine that you’re doing a home improvement project at a customer’s home. When the project starts, send a salesperson up and down the street to door knock to find prospects. Do it again one month after the project, and again six months later. Supplement the door- knocking with a targeted direct mail campaign timed to maximize herd mentality. Customers are more likely to add a patio to their home if one or more of their neighbors recently added a patio to their home(s).

2. When you sell to someone, ask the customer to provide you with the names and contact information for their family and friends. A marketing campaign including warm-calling, direct mail, or email can help some of these customers begin to form a herd.

3. Put photos of your customers on a display wall in your retail store. Either add to the wall over time or rotate pictures onto the wall. This technique is especially effective if you include your (their) product in the photo (think sofa, refrigerator, convertible, etc.). Include the names of the customers if possible, and the city in which they live. When a shopper points at a picture and says, “Hey look, Honey, there’s Jim from the club…” you’ve got a herd beginning to form.

4. Create a buying frenzy. Let’s say you sell retail furniture, and two of your sales colleagues happen to be showing their shoppers a wall unit to house a TV. Even if your shopper is in your store to look at bedroom sets, walk buy the wall unit on the way to the bedroom sets, and as you walk buy, stop and explain to your prospect that “this particular wall unit has just been flying out of here…what do you think of it?” If you’ve successfully engaged your prospect previously, your prospect will likely answer the question, and some of your prospects will even say something like, “Wow, I love it!” Can you picture the herd forming?

5. Schedule follow-up appointments with prospects in your showroom when you have a lot of foot traffic. More activity in your showroom equals more herd potential!

6. When one house goes up for sale, you may have neighbors who have been on the fence decide to put theirs up for sale. Introduce yourself to the neighbors. Do some investigating. Then investigate some more after the house has sold.

7. At your trade show, hire one or two people to stand in your booth and talk to you when your booth is empty. When passersby see the other people at your display, herd mentality takes over and some will stop at your booth who would have otherwise passed right on by. Your stand-ins can leave and walk around for ten minutes until the next time your booth is empty. Prospects at trade show displays are more effective at generating traffic than salespeople are.

8. Create fans who are wild about you, your product, or your company. When they talk to others, others will be more likely to join your customer ranks. Host a weekly radio show with fresh content, but encourage your customers to call in and talk about their purchases of your products or services. Have social get-togethers with your customers and let them meet each other. Herd mentality starts with just two people, and can grow from there.

9. If your company does service work or installation in your customers’ homes, post a lawn sign on the property if possible. If you get three lawn signs on a block, chances are fabulous that you’ll get a fourth customer soon.

10. Have a special sale only for customers. Keep this one legitimate. Have it after hours. Everyone there will know that everyone else there is a customer. Hold drawings and festivities. Let the herd take shape. A larger herd is more likely to attract more members than a smaller herd.

11. Have a thick book of customer surveys to show your prospect (work it into your sales process if possible). These are more effective if the surveys are written in the customer’s own handwriting, and if the customer’s name and address are on the form. This doesn’t work so well with five customer surveys, but if you can provide two or three hundred, it will help you create a herd.

* You can read Part 1 of this article here.
Skip Anderson is a speaker, management consultant, sales trainer, writer, and the Founder of Selling to Consumers Sales Training. The creator of 3D Selling™, Skip works with companies and individuals to capitalize upon the buying potential of every prospect. He is an authority on customer engagement and B2C selling.

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