Sarah is just strolling around the corner, mindlessly ignoring the rows of shops lined along the busy streets. A poodle waddles before Sarah, tugging thesilver leash clutched in her hand. She’s just walking her dog without the intention of stopping to purchase a certain product.
All’s been set into mind, until… the sweet aroma of freshly-baked cinnamon rolls lulls in the air, pulling and drugging her senses from where it’s been served. She couldn’t be wrong; it’s definitely coming from a nearby pastry shop. As she draws nearer, a sumptuous whiff of pumpkin pie passes her nose, too. She finally decides she has to sink her teeth into one of those sweet treats.
We couldn’t blame Sarah either if she happens to buy a cinnamon roll on impulse. We too are hungry visualizing it in our heads. It’s a classic example of impulse buying. That’s the power of influence strategically crafted to subconsciously affect buyers’ decision-making process. And how it’s done by successful brands still baffles a lot of marketers up to this day.
Certainly, the answer lies to what Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., a health psychologist in Stanford University said about the brain’s reward system. She explains that to trigger impulse purchasing, you must present a stimulus that activates the brain’s reward system. “When the reward system gets activated, the brain starts to selectively focus on acquiring rewards, and ignoring costs (or, in the case of investments, risks),” says McGonigal.
We’re all after converting our callers to sure buyers. So how can you activate the buying impulse of your callers in your messages on hold to come up with the same result as from the classic scenario above?
Here are the 4 ways of activating your callers’ buying impulses through message on hold:
1. Tap the Human Senses
Again, read the given scenario above. This time, analyze how we tried to describe to you the stimuli- both the cinnamon roll and pumpkin pie. Using vivid descriptions helps us to picture the effect that the pastries had on Sarah. Of course, your callers can’t see anything so you have to inject something they can visualize in their heads when evidence isn’t around.
With this in mind, these descriptions give the listeners a semi-firsthand experience of what you’re trying to present to them. They tap the human senses and eventually affect your callers’ subconscious. You’re creating a need or a craving that they didn’t have before. They would immediately think that giving into their newly-developed craving would soon stop the elevating pressure and give them satisfaction.
2. Upselling Related Products
Highlight your companion products. Retailers nowadays take advantage of this strategy. An example would be the company GoPro, Incorporated. They sell tiny high-definition personal cameras that can easily be mounted on specific body parts and be carried everywhere you go.
The trick is to offer limited accessories accompanying the camera, which only includes the underwater casing, pivot arm, locking plug, wifi remote, USB cable, the flat and curve mounts, backdoor, battery pack, etc.- which are mostly all necessary to use the GoPro camera. Without these essential add-ons, using the camera would entirely be a different experience. Other accessory products are not available in the packaging and have to be purchased individually.
This is where cross-selling related products through your on hold messages become vital in pushing more sales. Suggesting that the main item should be accompanied by another for some monumental reason could positively alter the customer’s decision-making process. The customer is already interested in your product upon calling, so he is mostly eager to know more of what you can offer.
3. Announcing Upcoming Promotions
Who doesn’t want freebies? Or a discounted item you’ve been eyeing for days in the shops? Almost everybody loves promos, they come when you only have to shed a little buck for a big treat. The catch is, you can only avail the offering at a limited time. This kind of message on hold triggers impulse purchasing.
The theory of scarcity can be explained with Dr. Cialdini’s statement, “…whenever free choice is limited or threatened, the need to retain our freedoms makes us desire them (as well as goods and services associated with them) significantly more than previously.”
Your customers can prepare for your offerings if they hear it on the phone. Plus, they’re always up-to-date with the current happenings taking place in your business. Sales promotions convert people to consumers easily when presented with a very enticing limited offer.
4. Boosting Callers’ Mood
An impulsive buyer is also someone who buys when they are in the mood. There are many impulsive buyers out there and you’d be lucky if they happen to be listening to your message-on-hold while waiting for you to answer.
The same impulsive buyers hang up when waiting in silence for at least 40 seconds. They’re all affected with their moods and if you fail to do something about improving them, you also fail in your sales and marketing efforts.
According to Marketing Profs, people in good moods are open to new products and are willing to take risks. They’re not only receptive to new products but also to everything you tell about them, whether it’s your ads, salespeople, or even your brand. That’s why Gary Belsky and Tom Gilovich of Time Magazine encourage people to avoid shopping for certain products or services when in good mood in their article ‘Why You Should Shop for Cars When You’re Grumpy’.
How mood can affect people’s consumer thinking can be appropriately explained byBeatty and Ferrell, 1998, “An individual’s affective state or mood has been found to be an important determinant of impulse buying, in that if an individual is in a good mood, he or she tends to reward themselves more generously and therefore, tend to be more impulsive.”
You want your callers to be totally excited about the prospect of doing business with you before you can talk with them. And considering your on hold message is often the last thing they hear before doing business with you, it’s the best time to push the envelope and awaken their inner splurging habit. Finally, they’ll unknowingly trample their objections and consider your offering in that instant. You’ll be surprised at how such influence can be incorporated with just this smart on hold message.