I was the Chief Revenue Officer of Chicago’s fastest growing tech company, PowerReviews, who helps retailers and brands collect and display ratings and reviews on their websites. So, when you’re shopping on Croc’s, Vineyard Vines, Jet, etc. and are looking at a product, the ratings and reviews for that product are powered by PowerReviews.
We had done a study with Northwestern University which found that products whose review score averages a 4.2-4.5 sold at a higher rate than those which had a perfect 5.0.
In other words, negative reviews displayed right alongside a product on a website actually increases conversion
When a website and its associated product detail page is the "salesperson", perfection actually pushed people away. Buyers rely on being able to predict their experience, and purposely seek out negatives before making any considerable purchase. When they don't find them, they do homework elsewhere...and often don't come back.
I looked across our sales team and thought, are we pushing people away by presenting our products and solutions as perfect when we are selling?
Being a nerd for sales philosophy and decision science, I went on a journey to find out - first realizing through experimentation that, when leading with flaws and presenting solutions as imperfect, sales cycles sped up, win rates went up, we qualified deals better & faster (and if we were destined to lose, we lost faster), and we made it really hard on our competitors to message against us.
I then found piles of new brain science on why this happens - how we’re wired to resist being influenced, how we make decisions as human beings, and paths to optimize those buying decisions through unexpected honesty during every stage of the selling process.
With the proliferation of reviews and feedback surrounding us today, on the apps we download, booking the hotels where we choose to stay, the television shows we choose to binge on, and even our Uber drivers (who are also rating us), embracing this evolution is now a requirement for the modern seller.
There is no perfect product or service. It’s as Tyra Banks calls it, "Flawsome". Embracing what you’re selling’s flawsomeness in every selling activity transforms results. There's no doubt about it.
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