Bias can play a helpful role in your business by drawing in buyers and customers. But it can also hurt your sales because of immature decision-making and planning. Can sales coaching help fight the bias? Can you even use this bias in your favor to grow your business?
The answer to both of these questions is yes. Bias in a sales team can be of many types. It can be confirmation bias, anecdotal fallacy, and other types as well. The good thing is that bias is not just harmful to your business. When you understand how bias affects sales, both to buyers and salespeople, you can use it to further the growth of your business.
The key to using a bias in your business properly is to understand it. Different kinds of bias can have different effects on the overall success of a business. But a good grip on both understanding and training your team to use this bias is how you can avoid failure as much as possible.
Bias and Sales—How Does It Influence Your Business?
The main two types of bias that you will see in both buyers and salespeople are cognitive bias and anecdotal fallacy. These biases can direct your employees to make a choice that favors your business, or the opposite. Here is what they are like in both cases:
Cognitive bias is essentially making a choice based on your assumptions about the person. For example, if you assume a customer would prefer a certain service without asking them or knowing anything about them, that would be cognitive bias.
An anecdotal fallacy is a bit different. Anecdotes are situations that we tell people about to make an argument. And when someone makes a decision based on one or a few situations that have happened to others, it can be an anecdotal fallacy. If you decide to eat junk food despite the health risks because your friend is healthy after eating it, you will have this bias.
These are not the only biases in business. In entrepreneurship, you will face many other kinds of bias. These are the ones that affect both your team and the buyers. Now, how do these biases influence your business? Do they do it in a good way or a bad way? The answer is both.
The Good Way
An anecdotal fallacy can be good for your business if you can build a strong anecdote for what you sell. As a buyer, stories of success from the services or products you sell can influence others to try your business out. Word of mouth is valuable, so your sales team should be prepared to engage with buyers with engaging anecdotes.
Cognitive biases, on the other hand, are a bit less useful. For example, the only way a cognitive bias can play in your favor is if your buyer has the bias. They might make a mistake that will not be helpful to them in the long run.
The Bad Way
Generally, biases tend to have a bad effect rather than a good one on salespeople. For cognitive biases, it is more visible. For example, one of the salespeople assumes that their buyer is going to prefer one type of product over the other. In this case, what they assume may not be the case for the buyer. And ultimately, it will drive the buyer away from your product.
As for anecdotal fallacy, it depends on the buyer for the most part. If a buyer has recommendations from people they trust, they tend to lean the same way. So, if a customer has an anecdotal fallacy about a product or service from your business, they might not decide to go with it.
How Can You Use Bias To Grow Your Business?
There are no limits to how biases can affect your business. But thankfully, experts have an idea of what works and what does not. Some biases work on buyers. And these biases can work toward the success of your business.
The most popular biases that work for entrepreneurs and sellers are as follows. If you have a sales team with skills, you can use these biases to lower the margin of failure by a lot.
When buyers have a certain idea of how your product/service will work, they may rely on that idea to decide whether they want the offer. It can be a bad thing when it is out of your control. But the way to use this bias in your favor is to gain the buyer’s trust.
The way you can do that is by proving why your product is superior to those on the market. Additionally, making a good first impression on your buyer is essential to getting their confirmation bias to lean your way.
Sunk Cost Bias
The sunk cost bias is when someone continues to put their time and effort into something even when it is not giving good results. This happens because the person has already invested their money or time in it.
The way you can use this in sales is to draw your buyer in through conversation. Interacting and engaging with them in a way that tells them it would be a good idea to invest in you. The best way to do it is to think of a strategy, understand the buyer’s confusion, and gain their trust.
Spacing bias is the brain’s ability to better receive information at intervals. This bias works in a way that means that if the salesperson presents their case in smaller chunks to the buyer, it works better.
When you slowly engage the buyer with specific information in small bites, they can easily absorb it. This also works well with understanding what the buyers want to hear more about. And the best way you can do it is to avoid dumping a lot of information and divide what you want to show to the buyer.
The Ikea Bias
The Ikea bias is a personal bias. A lot of buyers feel closer to the products that they have developed by themselves. This can work negatively for you since it does not have the attachment that the buyer wants from the product.
You can work with this bias as well. When a salesperson gives a chance to the buyer to understand problems and figure out solutions to the product by themselves, this bias can work. Giving the buyers situations where they can figure out the quirks and issues with the product is a great way to use this bias. Engaging and interacting are also necessary.
The bandwagon bias is our tendency to follow others. This bias is dangerous when it comes to modern trends. Competitors can influence buyers to choose them by using these trends as a way to showcase themselves. How can you use it?
The key to tackling this bias is experience. Have your sales team ready to give the buyers examples of how the product can be useful to them. It also has to be a combination of trust, networking, and engagement. This means that the team must also have a good reputation for being reliable in the market.
At that point, if your salesperson can make a convincing case, you can succeed. Make sure to include case studies that demonstrate your company’s value in the product. And lastly, collect customer references to show your reliability as well.
Biases can be a blessing or a curse for your business. When utilizing sales coaching, the employees’ training on biases can help them work better with themselves as well as the buyers. Now that you know how to work biases in your favor, hopefully, you will find more success in your entrepreneurship.
Running a business can be difficult. You have to think about so many things and stay updated with the latest trends to ensure you are ahead of the curve. So, for more content on the world of business, be sure to check out Campfire Capitalism podcast.