We are exploring the Psychology of Consumer Behaviour (PCB), something we’ve invested a lot of time in and done a lot of research and reading around it. First of all, let’s consider what Psychology of Consumer Behaviour is all about?
The individual consumer is unique
This is about understanding what makes an individual consumer unique; the key bit is the individual consumer. We know from all the work we’ve done around the marketing piece, that marketing is much more about groups; about cohorts of the demographic division and all the rest of that good stuff that we’ve studied previously. That’s fine from a marketing point of view and that makes sense.
When we get to sales and when we get to that one-on-one or one-to-small groups or one to a team, what we need to understand if we want to get it right, is, what is it about this individual, this unique person? That’s really at the heart of the Psychology of Consumer Behaviour. It’s about understanding why would Customer A seek to do these things or avoid other things. And what about Customer B? Now, sometimes they’ll end up with the same product mix or the same service pack, but it would be for different reasons. That’s the key thing, it’s understanding: why for this person, why for that person, and so on.
Treat people how ‘they’ want to be treated
Next, we consider the common mistakes people make when they start trying to focus on individuals rather than the wider group, and what the pitfalls are that we need to avoid.
The most interesting to observe is where the seller with the greatest intention of trying to understand the individual can’t help but project their values onto others. There’s that phrase that I’m sure we’re all familiar with – “treat people how you would want to be treated”. That’s part of the problem. It shouldn’t be treat people how you want to be treated, it’s treat people how ‘they’ want to be treated. This is about that projection of values. It’s not the easiest thing (because of what values are), so, if you think about what ‘makes us up’ as a person, there’s: identity, beliefs, values and motivators.
Consideration of values
So, to try and resist the temptation is the first thing. In fact, it’s the biggest piece of advice that I would ever give to a salesperson who’s seriously contemplating that shift towards applying the Psychology of Consumer Behaviour. It is to appreciate what your values are – then to recognise that they are your values. Don’t necessarily project them onto somebody else, you might see them in somebody else and that’s fine. Don’t project them onto somebody else and don’t expect to see them in somebody else. Accept, you are you, and they are them and you might have some things in common, but you might not – and that’s fine.
Please take a look at my next blog, ‘Psychology of Consumer Behaviour – Assumptions‘.
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