Dealer Keys to Success
by Joe Mills
August 1st, 2018

Pros and Cons of the Herd Mentality

Herding our homeowner prospects is a tricky thing.

Wikipedia defines the herd mentality as describing “…how people can be influenced…to adopt certain behaviors on a largely emotional, rather than rational (read: logical), basis.”

Sales 101 teaches us that people buy on emotion, and then justify with logic. Because emotion is less about money, you’d think that using the herd mentality within your presentations as much as possible would be preferable.

However, we’ve always taught our dealer partners and their sales teams that the best presentations have equal parts emotion and logic.

Sometimes you want your potential customer to decide to be part of the herd, but sometimes you really don’t.

There are a couple of obvious uses of the herd mentality.

  • Company story—You’re probably already using some verbiage about having “…thousands of satisfied customers,” an obvious invitation for your prospect to join the herd.
  • Guiding an alternative choice—“Many of our customers take advantage of our monthly investment program.”

Of course, differentiation is sort of antithetical to the whole concept of a herd mentality. But you must exercise care in how you demonstrate your dissimilarity.

Today’s buyer goes through a much different process than even five years ago and seems to be especially sensitive to attempts to belittle competitors by name.

Here are a couple of ways to attest to your products superiority without “getting down in the gutter.”

  • Product differences—If most of your competitors are using a different part than you, for example, a balance system, you can actually use the herd mentality against them. Explain why your product uses this unique part and the benefit to the homeowner. This is especially effective if you can believably prove that the part you are referring to costs more than the competing one.
  • Process differences—This is supremely effective when most competitors use the same thing, concept-wise, to accomplish something. Take the concept of low-E, for example. Virtually all windows offer a low-E product, and some, especially lower-end products, have been successful at commoditizing the concept of low-E. What about your process is different? Do you have a superior spacer system? Do you edge-delete? Different processes can be used to assert performance longevity.

Sometimes it is difficult to get a homeowner out of the herd mentality because they’ve heard the same thing from several different people. One way to counter this is going back to an old faithful technique called “Feel, Felt, Found.”

Using the herd mentality to your advantage is a great way to generate more leads and close more sales.

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