Most people buy for emotional reasons. Then justify the purchase afterward with the facts.
If you’ve taken any courses on sales, you’ll know that the statement above is true.
Think about that last impulse purchase you made. Perhaps you bought some shiny new tires and rims. You’re so excited to see them on your vehicle. Now you have to explain it to your spouse. That’s when you start talking about the handling, the safety, blah blah blah. You’re trying to justify the money you spent. That’s how our minds work.
Trying to make a sale on facts or features is a losing battle.
Instead, you need to use emotional storytelling.
Let me explain with a classic story we all know (If you don’t, I give you permission to stop this now and go watch it!). The story is called Star Wars. This story follows the same story pattern as all major blockbuster movies.
Every great story has a vulnerable hero (Luke Skywalker). They don’t realize they’re a hero until near the end of the story. Opposite to them is a villain (Darth Vader) that needs to be defeated. It’s the hero who needs to defeat the villain.
The hero needs to get over some kind of internal problem to defeat the villain. To help them with their internal problem, there’s a guide (Obi-Wan Kenobi). Obi-Wan Kenobi teaches Luke the way of the force, transforming him from a farm boy, into a Jedi Knight! Luke goes on to defeat Darth Vader by (spoiler alert) destroying the Death Star. He is now the hero of the story.
This is the exact same structure your customer’s story needs to be.
The huge mistake most shops make is positioning themselves as the hero. The shop goes on about how mighty and strong it is. It goes on about how long it’s been around, what training they’ve had and what awards it’s won. Customers perceive this as arrogance. People don’t like arrogant heroes, they like to see the vulnerabilities of people.
So how do we talk in a way that positions the customer as the hero? Instead of saying “We fixed your car today” you would say “You make some good choices with your car today”.
Here it is in more detail. “You made a wise choice today. Now you’re are going to be rewarded with adding more life to your vehicle. You are now avoiding that accident or that issue because you’re doing this.”
Instead of taking credit for the work you did, give them credit for making a smart decision.
You’re just the guide pointing them down the right path. The customer has full control of the outcome of the story because they’re the hero.
Now that you’ve positioned the customer as the hero, let’s talk about engaging their story.
What is their story? This is a part of knowing your customer well. You need to engage with that story
Are they married? Do they have kids? Are they in college?
Let’s say the battery is at the end of its life cycle. The battery is four or five years old. It’s not showing any issues yet but we know that it’s at the end of its life span. It’s in the customers best interest to replace it.
“Mrs. Smith, your battery is at the end of its life cycle. It’s not a matter of if the battery is going to die, it’s a matter of when. You’d hate to be driving your son Johnny to his soccer tournament and your the battery dies on you then. Now you’re stranded in an unfamiliar neighborhood, with no A/C, waiting for a tow truck. They’re probably going to take you to the nearest shop you may not trust. I’d like to help you avoid that if possible.”
I’m taking the information that I know about Mrs. Smith and putting it into her story. You know about the kids because she posted those pictures on Facebook her wall. You know about the tournament because she wrote about it. It’s not high-pressure selling, it’s just using emotional triggers. We’re more likely to buy more to avoid pain.
This is how we get into our customer’s story and position them as the hero to increase your sales.
PS. One of the best books I have read on this subject matter is “Building A Story Brand” by Donal Miller.