The Conversion Chronicles, resources for improving your online conversion rates

The Secret of Sequence In Selling

Forward to a friend      
We respect your friends privacy

I've got my hand luggage. I've got my suit. I've got my laptop.

As I made my way through the 747 that's going to take me across from New Zealand to the US, I also got an unexpected bonus.

I got an education from the airline.

This 'educational experience' is something that we've all been through. Every time we board an aircraft, we get the same education.

Every time, the same thoughts go through our heads as we make our way to our designated seats.

Eventually most of us break down. Every time we do, the airline gets more profitable.

So what's the big secret? What do airlines do that create this intense emotion? And what emot
ion do they really tap into? The answer could enable you to create far greater profits for your business. In the next few paragraphs, you'll learn exactly what you need to do to make sure you can use the same emotional trigger that is used by airlines day in and day out.

Walk through first class.
Walk through business class.
Walk into economy class.

If you're like 90% of the travellers on this planet, you'll have gone through the same sequence every single time you get onto an international flight.

Every single time, you look at the wide first class and business class seats. You look at the 'freshly-ironed' newspaper. You see the personal movie screens.

As you squeeze into your miniscule economy seat, you watch as the air hostess pulls the curtain that shields your view from the first and business class.

You hear champagne glasses clink...

And you curse economy class

You're hungry. You're thirsty. And that obnoxious guy seated right next to you isn't giving you enough room to rest your arm on the arm rest.

You sure as hell wish you were in business or first class.

Yet, let's change the scenario for a second...

Imagine you got into economy via a different door. Imagine you didn't ever see the wide seats, the fancy trappings and consequently didn't hear the champagne glasses clinking.

How much pain would you feel in your brain?

I'm betting you wouldn't feel quite as bad as you do when you sit in economy. If you didn't know any different, you'd accept your economy class as a reasonably acceptable way to travel
and first class wouldn't bother you so much.

I want to fly first class!

Every time you see those wide seats. Every time you get the aroma of food as it wafts in from first class. Every time you wait for your baggage that comes in last on the conveyor belt, you are being sold into the concept of a better life.

And if you notice, there's no subtlety.

Which bring us to your business

If you're like most businesses, you believe in starting with the cheapest product/service when offering the product/service to your customer.

Psychologically, you've lost the battle.

You see, your customer is exactly like you. They want to fly first class. You can't show them economy class, first. Nope. Can't do that.

Always take you clients through your fanciest, most expensive, most whiz bang product/service. Always give them the caviar and champagne tour.

Watch the clients gasp when you tell them the price

First class is always expensive. So your top-notch package is going to cost a lot of buckaroos. Your client will gulp. They'll start to say your product or service is way too expensive.

You know that.

Then you show them your 'business class' package. Not as expensive for sure, but still sitting in the stratosphere as prices go.

And then you show them your 'economy class' package.

Can you see their brains churn?

Believe me, they are churning. Because a whole bunch of psychological factors come into play. Let me stress on the main two factors.

1) The 'I don't want to be stuck in economy class' factor.
2) The 'Wow, I've got a choice' factor.

NO one wants to be stuck in economy class if they can move up to business or first class. Those that can afford to move will move right away. There won't be a whole lot, but there will be enough to fill the 'seats' in your business. Remember barely 20% of the aircraft is reserved for the fancy-schmancy stuff. Yet that 20% often constitutes over 80% of the profit.

To make the above factor work, you've got to start with the premium product first and wind your way down. It's a mistake if you start with the most economical product first.

The second factor is one of choice. You get to choose between the classes and come to expect a higher or lower level of service. The choice makes you feel in control. Paradoxically, customers hate to make choices, yet they love the feeling of being in control to make a choice.

Both these psychological tactics push the hot buttons on your customer's brain all the time, always edging them onwards to get the better, bigger package you have to offer.

So how does this principle apply to your business?

You may or may not have a big bundle of products/services at this point, but someday you will. When you do, start with 'first class.' Show your prospective clients what they get for top dollar and what they get for 'economy class' price. Eventually most people aspire for first class and you'll find a lot of clients will buy your top products.

We used this system when selling beds in a retail store. We'd start with the $5000 bed and move to $1000 bed. Most clients settled for the in between or took the $5000 bed. Almost no one took the $1000 bed.

Trickery, you say! Cheater! Swindler!

Think again. Is it really a swindle?

Do you think first class brings the travellers more convenience and comfort? Does a solidly built bed give you better comfort than a bed that's made of inferior material and workmanship?

Is this trickery? Depends how you look at it. If you wanted to reward your client in the best possible way, would you give them first class or economy? By giving a client a cheap substitute, you actually end up giving your client a raw deal.

The cheap stuff in most cases is...trickery.

Here's an action plan below

1) Create three distinct packages for your product/service.

2) Give your client the chance to choose between the packages.

3) Watch your profits soar. And better still watch your clients come back as they taste the joys of first class.

Get the sequence in your selling moving.
Your profits are sure to follow.
More from this months issue | Archived chronicles | More from this author
Sean DAuthor: Sean D'Souza, CEO - PsychoTactics Ltd.

Sean D'Souza uses age-old psychology, marrying it to modern technology, on his Web site, Can "psychological tactics" make a difference? Go there and find out.