Self-serving bias is a cognitive bias in which people tend to attribute positive outcomes to their own abilities and actions, while attributing negative outcomes to external factors beyond their control. The best salespeople understand this bias and use it to their advantage to sell more effectively. Here are a few ways they do it:
Appeal to the customer’s ego: The best salespeople appeal to the customer’s ego by emphasizing how their product or service will make the customer look good or feel successful. They use language that reinforces the customer’s self-image and suggests that they are a savvy, successful individual who deserves the best.
Focus on past successes: The best salespeople focus on the customer’s past successes and attribute them to the customer’s own abilities and actions. They suggest that the customer is a competent, capable individual who has achieved great things in the past, and that their product or service can help them continue that success in the future.
Provide reassurance: The best salespeople provide reassurance that the customer’s decision to purchase their product or service is the right one. They suggest that the customer is making a smart, informed choice that will lead to positive outcomes, and downplay any potential risks or downsides.
Use social proof: The best salespeople use social proof to reinforce the customer’s self-serving bias. They present testimonials, case studies, and other evidence that suggests that other successful individuals have achieved positive outcomes by using their product or service, reinforcing the customer’s belief in their own abilities and actions.
Create a sense of ownership: The best salespeople create a sense of ownership in the customer by suggesting that their product or service is uniquely suited to the customer’s needs and preferences. They suggest that the customer is making a personalized, individual choice that reflects their own unique style and personality.
By understanding and using self-serving bias, the best salespeople can tap into the customer’s desire to feel successful and in control, and increase the likelihood that they will be receptive to their messaging. However, it’s important to note that using this bias in an unethical or manipulative way can damage the relationship between the salesperson and customer in the long term.