Willpower. It carries a lot of weight in the business world. From describing an executive’s conviction to the dedication of an employee, they all draw from the concept invoked by this single power word.
And like it or not, B2B marketing and sales constantly have to grapple with the willpower of potential clients in order to survive every quarter. Don’t take it as something personal or ethical. It’s just the nature of the beast.
You could even say it’s a very noble purpose. If people didn’t have their willpower tested, how will you know if it’s strong? Can an executive truly call himself convicted if his decisions weren’t regularly tested by his gut?
Therefore, don’t be ashamed to be the one doing the testing. Regardless of circumstance, even your own marketers have a lot of things they can take away:
- It makes you immune to pretense – Prodding around for a subtle, psychological trigger doesn’t necessarily mean you’re emotionally manipulative (or at least to that degree). Alternatively, it can mean you’re good at guessing what people really want versus what they’re saying. Some people wear their desires on their sleeve but not all. Those who don’t are just as manipulative, using lies and facades to tell you that they don’t need your product. These pretenses are a poor substitute for willpower. But more than that, it’s a lesson worth teaching anyone (even your potential clients).
- It tests your prospect’s willingness to commit –You also have the other half of the sales-marketing dynamic: lead quality. Lead quality is directly correlated with a prospect’s actions in your sales funnel. Just simply clicking and signing up on a landing page doesn’t always mean a lead is good. A prospect needs to have the right amount of willpower to stick to their buying decision too. And if the psychological tugs are what’s driving their decision, they could risk turning into disillusioned customers that only deliver shor-term value.
- It requires you to see through your own tricks – From social media to search engine, prospects today have more access to information and are more likely to guard themselves against any marketing ‘tricks.’ Some call it the invasion of the introverts. Others say it was bound to happen anyways. But in any case, you need to start seeing through your own tricks so you’ll know how you’re going to keep them in the pipeline.
Willpower is not necessarily synonymous with irrational determination. It’s actually a mix of both. When a prospect is firm about their need (or lack of it), they’re logically more inclined to justify it. And if you don’t know how to test their defenses, you’ll both have difficulty trying to convince then and determining if they’ll really be good customers.