Be Irrational


Let’s talk about irrational customers, or possible irrational customers.

Seth Godin blogs everyday and his blog Tuesday talks about the irrational customer.  Seth prefers that his readers not leave comments, but take his idea and expand it on their own blogs.  
You can have the greatest product in the world.  That product would be perfect for your customer.  Yet, the customer doesn’t bite.  You’ve shown him the facts, statistics, charts and graphs.  And the customer is still irrational.  He doesn’t care about your facts.  He only hears blah blah blah blah.  
You are not giving him a story.  You are not making it real enough.  He’s thinking about what people will say when he buys from you.  He’s thinking about stepping outside of his comfort zone and having change if he buys from you.  He’s worried your products won’t work for him. 
Your job? Work with the irrational customer.  Stop trying to make him rational.  Go his way.  How do you do that?
I set up green accounts for everyday people like you and me.  It means they shop for products better than what they already use (and spend money on).  Now they will get a better price, have it delivered to their door and order online or over the phone.  All of that makes great sense!  Better, safer products – less expensive than name brand – delivered to your door.  That’s rational.  Yet …. customers are leary.  Why?  Let’s tear it apart.
Possible Fears: 
1. replace products they already use
2. new green products
3. shop online or over the phone
4. delivered to their door
5. save money 
These fears are known as objections.  When you sit down with a possible customer, it’s important to address their objections in your presentation.  These are real fears to them.  The worst thing you can say is “that’s not important” – because it is to them.  Here’s how I address the above objections.
1. Replace products they already use.  This means replace products their mom used and those products were good enough for their mom so they are good enough for them.   I use the feel, felt, found method here.  I know how you feel.  I felt the same way about that!  I found out that there is formalydehyde in that laundry soap – and I know my mom would not want me to use that product on her grandchildren! 
2. New green products.  No matter how great you know your products are, they don’t know that.  I tell stories here.  I talk about how the degreaser removed grease from my husbands work clothes.  I talk about how great my dad feels because he changed his vitamins.  I simply share what is working for my current customers.
3. Shop online or over the phone.  You know this will save them time (and in the long run, money).  You know they can shop in their pajamas at 2 am.  They may have never shopped over the internet – or even over the phone.  Once again, I tell some stories.  I have an 86 year old woman I taught how to shop this way.  It saves her anguish in having to drive into town.  I also explain it’s part of my job to help them shop – I’ll hold their hand until they are comfortable doing it by themselves.  I have two women I have coffee with every month.  We spend an hour in pleasurable company – and we figure out what they want to shop for.  Not only am I have a great time, I’m providing a service to them – and increasing my bottom line.  Everyone is happy! 
4. Delivered to their door.  You would think this would make people happy.  It’s amazing to me the number of people that like to go to town and shop.  I simply explain now they can go to town and just shop for the fun things.  The items they buy every month can just be delivered to their door.  And if they don’t like the product, for any reason, it’s really easy to get their money back!  I talk about saving gas in these economic times.  I talk about not fighting traffic, weather and crowds.  
5. Save money.  Now I know they will save money.  But they don’t know that.  They don’t really believe it either.  I give very specific examples here.  Tide costs 32 cents a load, our product costs 16 cents a load.  I explain about how a lot of products in the store have extra ingredients added – like phosphates and fillers and more water.  Our products are concentrated and easy to mix (we believe you know how to add water and that you shouldn’t have to pay for water).  
Those are just a few objections I run into every day.  I’m taking Seth’s advice – work with the irrational customer, don’t try to change them! 
picture provided by hansvandenberg30 at flickr.com

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