A high sales conversion rate is based on people being excited to buy from you. But sometimes people who are entering your marketing funnel are jaded. Or they’re in a bad mood. Maybe – as research has shown – the weather is simply getting in the way of them opening up in a sales conversation.
There are so many irrational influences on our decisions. These influences, from the weather to the side of the bed we woke up on, affect how we interact with the world every day. They also affect your sales conversion rate by helping or hurting your prospect’s mood when you start speaking with them.
Fortunately, there’s a strategy to overcome these irrational influences inside your marketing funnel. It’s known as Context Nullification.
Based on research around the Context Effect from Norbert Schwarz and Gerald Clore, people will rate overall life satisfaction as higher or lower depending on the weather. Those who are asked about their happiness on a sunny day will be happier, and those who are asked on a rainy day will be sadder.
But that wasn’t even what was most interesting about the study.
When the researchers went back for the second round of trials, they now told the respondents that the weather may be impacting their mood. After this “nullification” statement, answers between the two groups were evenly distributed.
If you know of limiting factors in your prospect’s mood or psychological state which irrationally delay or destroy your sales conversion rate, use Context Nullification to bring your prospect back on track. Let’s explore how to do that in this video lesson:
Context Effect Neuromarketing In Your Messaging
Cut To The Chase Without Triggering Your Prospect’s Biases And Judgment
If your prospect has a pre-existing belief or bias against you or your industry, it can be almost impossible to break through and have a productive conversation. In the face of such irrationality, we use the Experience Reset to bring them back into an objective mindset (that’s a process called Context Nullification).
To incorporate the Experience Reset neuromarketing strategy into your messaging, we use data to make a rational argument against any rational argument the prospect may be making against you (even subconsciously). For example, if you were trying to sell an airline ticket to someone who was afraid of flying, you could bring up the safety statistics of flying in an airplane, and compare them to the safety statistics of driving a car.
But while data is a powerful tool in the face of irrational biases, it doesn’t get the job done completely. While the data will address objections in the prospect’s “rational” brain, we still have to deal with their “emotional” brain. If you don’t, you end up sounding like this:
The good news is that you’ve already done the hard work. You have the data which proves your point. Now you have to break through their emotional armor and have them truly, authentically consider your data. You can’t do that if you’re throwing numbers in their face – they’ll get defensive and will be lost. Instead, weave your data into a compelling story.
Storytelling is the most effective, and emotionally-rich, way to communicate information. It’s more memorable and influential than any other form of communication. If you collect the right data, which contradicts your prospect’s objections, and then weave that data into a compelling, relatable story, they will pay attention and have a higher likelihood of lowering their guard and listening to what you have to say.
Context Effect Neuromarketing In Your Sales Funnel
Reset The Environment In Which You Had Your First Interaction
In a study on college students taking exams, it was found that students score higher when the exam is taken in the same classroom in which the material was learned. One of the researchers concluded that we better remember things in the same location in which we learned them, stating that, “constancy in environment leads to efficiency in recall.”
While this could be a useful sales tool, most sales processes suffer from this principle. If your sales conversation environment is constantly changing, which it often is, your prospect will have difficulty remembering the facts and feelings that you established in the prior meeting.
To avoid this, do everything you can to replicate the original sales environment when conducting your followups.
This can be done physically by meeting in the same place, buying them the same coffee, wearing similar clothes, and using branded presentations. It can also be done digitally by having the same backdrop to your video camera or creating the same experience before and after a meeting, such as sending an agenda email 10 minutes prior to every meeting they schedule with you.
Creating the same environment, whether digital or physical, during the sales process can drastically increase the level of trust and emotional engagement that your prospects have with you – and ultimately increase your sales.
Context Effect Neuromarketing In Customer Service
Get Objective Feedback On Customer Service & Product Development Surveys
When you are gathering feedback from a customer or prospect, they are answering your questions through the lens of their own biases. The “context” they are trapped in is the experience of being either frustrated or elated with the experience of working with you. While this is a good thing in the case of positive feedback, when a customer is not happy, the frustration due to the context effect can obscure otherwise valuable feedback.
Let’s take a closer look at this case.
When someone initiates a complaint, they are frustrated and annoyed. They call into a customer service line or open a support ticket expecting a quick, prompt response, and even if you solve their problem, they will likely give bad feedback just because they are feeling annoyed.
This is a problem for many companies who are trying to improve their customer service processes. If unhappy customers, who are arguably one of the most important customer segments out there, are calling in looking for support, it’s critical to know whether or not their problems are being solved. The consequences of not paying attention to this KPI could spell disaster for a company’s PR department.
To avoid this “obscuring” of results from a customer service experiment, we use the Experience Reset neuromarketing strategy to bring the unhappy customer back to a state of relative objectivity. And we do it by asking on simple question: “Did we solve your problem today?”
By asking this question, you force the customer into a mindset of objectivity. You help them take a breath and exit their frustration by answering a very direct question with total truth. You must ask this question in a binary form: Yes or No. When you do this, your customer is faced with the facts and must give up their bias, resulting in a follow-up survey yielding higher quality responses.
“Should I change my job title to avoid the Context Effect?”
“How do I use the Context Effect if I’m only able to call people on the phone?”
Have Us Do It For You
Team Vivid uses the Context Effect in our Testing Rounds. Think your business could raise its sales conversion rate from trying this strategy out? Download our Testing Round Prospectus to explore more.
Schwarz & Clore (September 1983). “Mood, Misattribution, and Judgments of Well-Being: Informative and Directive Functions of Affective States”. Journal Of Personality and Social Psychology. 45(3):513-523.
Rooderkerk, Robert P; Van Heerde, Harald J; Bijmolt, Tammo H.A (1 August 2011). “Incorporating Context Effects Into a Choice Model”. Journal of Marketing Research. 48 (4): 767–780.
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Author’s Note: The findings that back this strategy are partially based on a series of experiments dating back to the 1940’s. These experiments focus on the role of the Context Effect in classroom settings, testing whether the environment of the classroom makes testing easier. The results of these experiments have generally found that the classroom positively influences test results, yet there is one contesting study with a different research approach. Our Experience Reset strategy is based partially on these studies, with a focus on those which prove the existence of the context effect within complex environments. Our conclusion is that while there are contesting results on its existence, the collective evidence points to a strong influence of an environment on the ability to recall past experiences in that same environment.