Sales Tip of the Day: “I have another patient just like you…” – The Principle of Social Proof
Me: “I’ve been thinking about Lasik. What do you think?”
Doctor: “You know, I’m mixed. I have a patient – a woman that’s actually a lot like you – very similar prescription and also has an astigmatism who didn’t have a good experience…” Then he proceeded to explain a few more details.
Me: “Huh. Okay thanks. Just thought I’d ask.”
Yesterday I had my annual vision check-up. I’ve had four eye doctors in the past four years because of various locations where I’ve lived and worked (and because the first couple of doctors I chose were intolerable, but I digress…)
WIth each new doctor, I always ask about Lasik laser corrective surgery. Grant it, I’m asking a biased person – the doctor who would much rather me continue with annual check-ups and purchase glasses and contact lenses.
But… I liked this doctor and I felt that he would shoot me straight. And you know what? Whether intentional or not, he executed a wonderful sales strategy:
Principle of Social Proof, which states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. (definition courtesy of Robert Cialdini as written in “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
When you’re presenting a solution to your clients, think hard about a specific client that you can reference during your sales conversation. It means nothing for a prospect to hear – “Oh yes! We have more than 1000 users of our software!” What the prospect cares about is how you helped someone just like them.