Technology evangelist Guy Kawasaki wrote all about the psychology of buying in his book Enchantment: The Art of Changing, Hearts, Minds, and Actions (Penguin Books, 2011). If you’re faced with introducing or adopting association management software, knowing Kawasaki’s four main sources of internal and external sales resistance should help in your decision process to move up to make the case at your nonprofit for change:
1. Why change? Selecting software is a big decision. You must be more attracted to the potential benefits of change than the present comfort of remaining the same. Psychologists call this valence. It is “the degree of attraction or aversion that an individual feels toward a specific object or event.”
2. What’s the return? It always seems far easier to use what you are using or do what you are doing, when the marginal gains are costly. You must demonstrate that the cost of changing does not significantly exceed the cost of remaining the same — or at least the return on investment outweighs the latter.
3. Will your options be reduced? You naturally fear that instituting change or innovation could disrupt or interfere with the comfortable. There will be disruption so it’s important to be prepared with knowing exactly how this will impact engagement, retention, revenue, and better measurement of key performance indicators.
4. Will you make the wrong choice? Everyone wants to avoid taking risks. The fear of jeopardizing the future efficiency of your agency by adopting untested, new technology could actually postpone your buying decision indefinitely.
5. Are you the first to buy? If the product is new, how do you know it has been tested and used successfully elsewhere? You’re definitely interested in unbiased testimonials that show how the new technology placed others on the road to success.
Leveraging a knowledge of the psychology of buying is what experienced sales advisers do and so should you when overcoming sales resistance at your nonprofit for shaking the status quo. A good sales adviser’s objective is to differentiate their product from the competition and your job is to underscore the enterprise benefits. It’s imperative to show how new nonprofit software will provide higher value with lower risk in the enterprise. You have to stress it’s not just a point solution (just for membership or simply a rolodex of donors).
That’s where we come in. Our mission is to shake up the status quo in selecting software. Your job is studying the benefits of and learning about what association nonprofit management software can do for your organization. There is little time for inaction and the upside to finding a good fit is too compelling.
Contact us, and we’ll help focus your vision towards a successful upgrade in the technology you know you need to move your mission forward.
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