Sometimes curiosity gets the better of me. I recall an article in a London paper about a beggar who was making over £500 a day. He wasn’t far from the Royal Courts of Justice in London. If you have visited any large city where begging is prevalent you will notice what I am about to share. Beggars are often found near cash-points.
After reading the article my curiosity was aroused. If you take a couple of days off work or, what I cheekily call research days, you will quickly find what I did. That those near cash points make more money than those who just take a random piece of pavement to slouch on. More interestingly, those who are outside Starbucks make more money from those who leave the cafe with a coffee than those who are entering the cafe. When someone has money in their hands to spare, or they have just spent money, they are in the mood to spend. So they don’t mind sharing some with a beggar. They have got what they wanted, they also have a consumer’s dopamine feel good hit. This makes them feel like a King, an Alpha-person, so they can give to the beggar.
What brought this home to me was my travels to an international city which I frequent regularly. Near the centre of this City is some parking near the shopping district. It is the only patch of road that allows parking within 200 metres of the shops. Otherwise you have to queue to get into a multi-storey carpark which involves, well, all the inconvenience you get in one at busy times. On this patch of pavement is a man on bicycle who walks from one end of the street to another. He then turns around and walks back the other way. He has a beard and sunglasses. He could either pass as a well worn traveller or a beach goer. He only stops when he someone putting cash into the parking meter. His timing is brilliant. “Sorry mate, do you have a spare dollar I just need to get some bread”. He doesn’t move before people put money in the meter. There are few seconds just after they put the money in and before it prints the ticket (about 20 annoying seconds) that he pounces. He only uses his profound discovery for himself to earn whatever he needs to get through. Yet there is considerable insight in this for salespeople. When people are spending and have just spent money, even on something that is just a necessity (like parking)- they will be happy to then give money away to something that has pretty much no value for them.
Some car dealerships do this constantly. Once you have spent $50,000 on a car, why not get the customer to buy some, almost useless, tyre insurance. This is the product where they really make the money. It’s a product that the consumer doesn’t need, but she already in the mindset of parting with her money. She is not hoarding it. If this is a luxury vehicle, or perceived us such, it attracts what we call the “Ego buyer”. They will be on the Ego-buyer’s giant dopamine hit. The bigger the Ego less they will care about the value of the upsell. However even practical and frugal buyers are susceptible to this. Only buyers with a strict pre-commitment to spending control will wane from the desire to keep spending.
This can also be used for a more ethical form of selling. Suppose there is a product that the market does not know about, but needs. The time to introduce it into the sales discussion is the most satisfactory point in the buyer’s sales journey, from the buyer’s point of view. This has to be identified at the outset. This is where pre-commitment spending choices are likely to be abandoned. You may have a suite of products for the upsell that reflect each one of the Fed-UP! Formula® buyer personalities. Once you understand your buyer through a concrete buyer understanding dialogue you can then upsell onto the new product your business is promoting. This is because the buyer has moved from anxiety to trust at this stage of the sale and will be more open to suggestions on a trusting basis. But don’t abuse the trust. Place the details of your product accurately to their needs and the trust will be cemented. This will increase the chances of the upsell. This in turn will mean more revenue for your business.
Dr Abhijit Pandya PhD
2 December 2022
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