When it comes to making a sale, the sales techniques you employ will be different for every client. While the bargain buyer might require one strategy to make a sale, the high-end or luxury consumer might need an entirely different sales technique to be convinced. While the basic concept of your sales technique will likely stay the same, how you deploy that technique will be different.
In past posts, we’ve looked at three key types of sales pitches: logical, emotional, and scarcity/urgency. You can find the post on logical sales here, the one on emotional sales here, and the post on scarcity/urgency backed sales here.
What I will explore in this post is how to specifically use each of the sales techniques in trying to make a high-end or luxury sale.
What Makes the Luxury Consumer Different?
Anyone who has sold to a high-end or luxury consumer knows that this is a different breed of shopper. I have covered the luxury customer in a previous post, but here are some keys to remember.
For the luxury customer, price is less of a concern than quality. A luxury customer will have no problem paying top dollar if they receive the best. A luxury customer also wants to feel elite. Why would the luxury customer want it if everyone could get it?
However, that same customer also wants to feel like they are part of a select group. Yes, they are elite, but they also belong to a small group of other elites.
Finally, because the luxury customer is elite, they must be treated as special. They have access to you and your business when they need it. They feel like they are your most important customer.
How Does the Luxury Customer Mindset Play Out in Sales?
So, how do you cater to this mindset in the course of a sale? Most specifically, how do you use the three key types of sales pitches outlined above in your sales techniques?
Using Logic to Sell the High-End Customer
Let’s start with logic. Logical sales rely on the customer using data and sense to conclude that your skills or product will best serve them. While it sounds like it’s up to the customer, you’re positioning yourself or your product as the best option behind the scenes.
Endorsements and testimonials from well-respected members of your industry are one way to establish yourself as the best option. Peer reviews can also position you or your product in the best light.
You can also prove your knowledge through white papers, blog posts, YouTube videos, and interviews. What does your LinkedIn say about you? Who are you connected to? Who has endorsed your skills?
Your goal is to put enough intelligent information out there so that a buyer can consider you or your product the logical choice even if they never speak to you.
Buyers, especially ones that plan to spend a lot of money, will research you. Make sure there is enough information out there that you and your business appear to be the best, most logical choice.
Using Emotional Sales Techniques on the High-End Customer
Emotion is a tricky thing. It plays a part in virtually all sales, but it is difficult to control and shape to your needs.
That said, emotional sales can be one of your best tools when selling to the luxury customer. Some of the most substantial feelings a buyer has are greed, fear, altruism, envy, pride, and shame.
When it comes to the high-end customer, you can use these emotions, whether in conjunction with other sales techniques or standalone, to trigger a sale.
Greed in Sales
The idea of a larger profit, more money is always appealing. Let your customer know how much money your product will save them. How much more money will your customer make with your product?
The idea of improving the bottom line or increasing revenue is always a strong driving force for purchases.
Fear in Sales
When using fear in sales, this is not about threatening the customer. Fear is planting the idea that if the customer does not act now, they could suffer the consequences.
“If I do not act now, I will lose money.”
“If I don’t buy now, my business will suffer.”
Fear can be a powerful tool when wielded correctly.
Altruism in Sales
One of the distinctions that many people make about Generation Z and, to a lesser extent, Millennials is that they care…a lot.
As more and more of these generations enter the workforce and create more wealth for themselves, their high-end buying power will increase.
But they will not buy from just anyone. These groups are looking for brands with similar beliefs, causes, and cares. They want someone who cares about what’s happening to our planet or believes in housing the homeless.
Altruism will be a powerful tool for the younger luxury buyers.
Envy in Sales
Envy can often be a significant driving force behind the luxury consumer. They want the best. The most high-tech. The item that no one else has.
They do not want to be the person envying their friends; they want to be the person their friends envy.
To that end, envy is a powerful motivating factor for the luxury buyer.
Pride in Sales
Pride is similar to envy, and it can go one of two ways.
Either the buyer doesn’t want to look stupid for missing out, or the buyer wants to look intelligent for recognizing an opportunity that no one else did.
Pride can also be a strong motivating factor for the luxury buyer, primarily when used in conjunction with envy.
Shame in Sales
Which leads right into the final powerful emotion, shame.
When a buyer loses pride, they feel shame. Shame for missing the opportunity that everyone else recognized. Shame for being on the outside looking in on an elite group.
While you should not shame any customer, implied shame can help push a customer toward that final sale.
Using Scarcity/Urgency in High-End Sales Techniques
Another option in sales is to use scarcity/urgency to trigger the sale. When you use this sales tactic, you’re telling the buyer to act now or miss out. Deadlines or limited quantities are some of the best ways to gently nudge a luxury consumer to a faster buying decision.
“Take your time, but just so you know, I only have three left.”
Not only does this set a vague deadline for the purchase, but it also plays on the consumer’s emotions of envy, fear, and possibly shame.
Some consumers will wonder what will happen if they miss one of those last three spots. Will they be the only one not participating? Will they regret the decision later? Did their competition already sign up?
One of the most potent parts of scarcity/urgency in sales is the emotions the method creates within the consumer.
None of these sales techniques need to be used alone. In fact, when you use some of them in conjunction with one another, you can create a nearly unstoppable sales pitch.
Before you act, however, plan. When using any of these strategies, you need to have a plan before you act, especially with the luxury consumer.
You have only one opportunity to make a good impression and the sale. Don’t blow it through a sales pitch that’s only half-baked.
Written by Erika Towne