One of the worst habits an inexperienced business owner / entrepreneur can develop is to try to close a new user, customer, or employee on the first meeting.
This is in direct opposition to a whole lot of data…
- A significant percentage of buying decisions are influenced by online reviews
- If you break it down, a high percentage of consumers do research, and same goes for B2B
- Depending on who you ask, before someone ever communicates a sales person they’re about 60% of the way through researching the decision
- There are many ways for employees to look into a company, and while there’s not yet much research, anecdotally it appears that Millennials and Gen Z are doing their homework on employers
But outside of the data, there’s also a kind of psychological structure at work that even experienced entrepreneurs can miss.
It’s based on a simple principle: when a product, company, or person explains their value or what they believe in, we unconsciously begin looking to see if it matches their actions.
The reality is that there is often a divide. And it takes time to see.
So, how much of a divide will someone accept when you’re interviewing them for a job? Or when they’re looking at your trial subscription? Or thinking about buying one of your basic products or services?
It depends a lot on their past experience + how clear and consistent you are about what you provide & believe in.
You can’t control both. But you can recognize that even if we are emotionally and rationally open the very first time we hear about a product, service, or company, we need more information.
Most of the time there just isn’t enough data yet to make a decision. There may be value to exchange on that day, a belief or emotional connection to be made, but that is usually not enough, even if what you’ve presented online or in person is extremely clear.
What happens in that moment psychologically is this: if you promise someone the entire world / try to close them then and there, you risk signaling to them that you can’t be trusted.
That you don’t respect them enough to let them go do the work of matching words and actions. That you are trying to game them.
The 2nd or 3rd or 4th time they interact (whether that’s with your product/ service or you) they’re unconsciously measuring it against the other times.
It’s what makes the followup email or call so powerful, and what motivates people to stay connected.
That’s when it’s time to close.