Discovering the Balance Between Boredom and Chaos
By Jason Forrest, CEO at FPG (Forrest Performance Group)
I want you to take a moment to visualize your day. Do you have a certain routine you follow every morning? Do you find yourself completing the same exact tasks every single day at work? Have you ever felt like your life was like one of those black and white movie montages where the character is having the exact same day over and over again?
How does this make you feel? If you’re anything like me, too much of the same mundane routine will drive you absolutely crazy. It's physiologically and psychologically painful. For everything you enjoy doing, your brain produces either serotonin or dopamine. When the brain stops producing either chemical, then we're bored, and seek another activity. We're all addicted to serotonin, and dopamine. We are all addicted to variety.
Whatever emotion you’re after, whatever goals you chase—building a business, getting married, raising a family, traveling the world—Tony Robbins devised six basic, universal needs that make us drive all human behavior. Derived from Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they are the force behind everything we do. We all have the same six needs, but everyone has their own needs profile. How you address those needs – and ultimately embody them for your customers – determines every sale.
The six core human needs are certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth, and contribution. The reason someone is just looking is because their current home isn’t fulfilling their needs. Whatever reason they tell you, their current home is not fulfilling one or many of their 6 human needs as it did when they first bought it. When you first meet them, you have to know right out of the gate that there’s something lacking. Your job is to uncover and find out how their current product or service not fulfilling their needs, and how what you have fulfill that need.
The need I want to talk to you about today is variety. If you have too much certainty in life, you get bored. Certainty is important, and obviously we need it in order to survive, but think of variety like the spice of life. Too little? Bland. Too much? Unpalatable. If things get too safe and too secure, you want to change it up. Variety is the need for excitement, adventure and surprise. You may want more certainty than variety, or vice versa, but your customers really need both to be truly fulfilled.
If your customer isn’t getting enough variety during their sale, they become incredibly bored. On the other hand, if you give them too much variety, they’ll become overwhelmed.
So, here’s how you can provide variety to your customers to move sales forward:
- Present targeted solutions.
The key to closing sales is to find the balance between providing a variety of options, but not overwhelming the prospect with too many. Malcolm Gladwell illustrates the importance of targeted solutions by describing spaghetti sauce competitors Ragu and Prego. The former offered dozens of different varieties of sauce, while the latter developed three, specifically for key demographics who preferred plain, spicy, or chunky varieties of sauce. Overwhelmingly, customers flocked to Prego because they served fewer, more targeted choices—rather than focusing on sheer quantity.
Find out what your customer’s priorities are, and why they are important to them. Once you have that information, you’re able to present them with options that have what they want and keep them from becoming overwhelmed by too many different options. Fulfill your customer’s need for variety by giving them the power of choice.
- Solve their problems in more than one way.
Every single customer will have objection, and problems that come up during the buying process. If you want more sales, you need to provide variety by offering multiple solutions. This will cause your customer to feel like they have more certainty around their decision because you’re letting them choose the best option.
If a customer has a problem with your product or service, make the options for resolution as clear and reduced as possible. Give them creative freedom to tell you exactly what they need, and you just help them through the rest. This will give them the variety they crave, and will you take you closer to closing the sale.
Providing variety to your customer along their journey to a new home will add the thrill and excitement back into their life. If they’ve been in the same home for years, they want to enjoy the process of narrowing down their choices rather than be told which direction to take. Remember, if your customer craves variety it is your job to give them freedom.
There is no singular solution for everyone, and providing variety sets you apart from every other salesperson that tries to convince their customer that there’s only one option. Our customers’ needs and preferences are as varied as the people themselves. There no universal right and wrong, there is only different — and that’s a beautiful thing.
Jason Forrest is the CEO at Forrest Performance Group in Fort Worth, Texas. Jason is a leading authority in behavior change and an expert at creating high-performance sales and best-place-to-work cultures through complete training programs. FPG has won five international awards for its behavior change programs in sales, leadership and customer service. Connect with Jason @jforrestspeaker on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.