You're selling in someone's personal space.
You find yourself saying, "Five more minutes," for the umpteenth time. You're trying to get something accomplished online. No one wants to be interrupted when they're engaged in an introverted activity, such as writing, daydreaming, or reading.
America has an equal amount of extroverts (49.3 percent) and introverts (50.7 percent), so I understand why most salespeople cater to extroverts' needs. Salespeople can stimulate extroverts through conversation and build emotion to gain interest in a product. Introverts, however, want to think things through. The more a salesperson assaults them with information, the less interested they become.
Please don't confuse introversion for shyness. As Meredith Whitten explains, "Research differentiates between shyness and introversion, although they are related. Introverts prefer solitary to social activities, but do not fear social encounters like shy people do." Psychologically, extroverts are energized by people, places, and things outside of themselves. Introverts are energized from within.
Richard Grant, Ph.D., our consulting psychologist confirms:Extroverts initiate relationships differently [than] introverts. Extroverted talk it through, and introverted think it through. Online, we all exhibit introverted tendencies. When in the introvert mode, we turn our thoughts inward to a laboratory of the mind where we like to "test things out" before taking any action. It is possible that people who go online to chat are creating their own virtual worlds and role-playing through the use of characters; initiating and maintaining relationships from an introverted perspective through the use of the written word."
That explains why spam is so much more offensive than postal junk mail. The email inbox is perceived as personal space. All humans have a need to define and control when and how others enter that space. Spam invades personal psychological space, as does someone who interrupts you when you're reading a novel.
That's just one example of the many ways introverted behavior manifests online. We must understand and be prepared to sell to introverts the way they want to buy. Typically, introverts require a large amount of information. Questions should be answered systematically, in the order they would arise.
The point of resolution is important. Understanding this helps you develop your site as a conversation tool. If you've developed your personas correctly, you can anticipate visitors' questions and answer them appropriately, in the correct time and sequence. Visitors will likely click until they find enough information to feel as if they tried out the product or service in the inner recesses (i.e., pre-frontal cortex) of their minds.
What does the introvert want online? Try:
Obviously this list is far from comprehensive.
Work From Behavioral Models to Improve Conversions
From Plato to modern times, people have tried to categorize behavioral types. Many are skeptical that people can be pigeonholed that way (thus unconsciously betraying one of their own pigeonholes). Carl Jung wrote, "Man is so smart, he thinks he is above his own psychology."
We may rationalize what we do, but we do things emotionally. Jim Novo said of his Home Shopping Network days, "Even before the Internet, when we where using a TV-to-telephone model, we would track words or questions from callers and use [them] on-air to increase sales. The Internet is no different."
Behavioral modeling is a respected and eminently sensible way of doing business. It helps you correctly anticipate and answer visitors' questions and prevent frustration. Properly implemented, it will create a spike in your conversion rate.
Meet Bryan at Search Engine Strategies in New York, March 1-4.
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Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.
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