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Homo economicus makes the perfect prospect for sales!

By Percy Chong, 30th July 2015

More ills seem to have been written about the homo economicus than positives. ASG takes a different perspective towards them, and even welcome them as valued prospects for sales.

In economics, homo economicus or the economic human refers to individuals who are rational, calculated and selfish, they dispassionately maximise self benefits even if it comes at the expense of others.

Although studies have shown that they are a minority in the population, ASG would like to believe that their stereotypical traits are more common in most individuals than we actually realised.

Sales practitioners’ sees these traits played out almost every day when faced with prospects in a selling situation. The sales situation would simply not advance, if the prospect does not have a genuine self-interest of some sorts. Nothing happens unless the prospect wants to improve his situation or well-being.

Why would any consumer spend his money on things that does not interest him or provide him some level of benefits?  

And if the fundamentals of sales are anything to go by, we should be receiving all homo economicus with open arms! Without them, all salespersons would not have any sales opportunities! And ignoring them would certainly mean we have to rewrite all our established notions of the selling principles.

Fundamentally, it is through targeting the prospect’s self-interest (or selfishness) that a salesperson is able to maneuver pass “hidden” traits or characteristic roadblocks, like defensiveness, indifference and scepticism. These characteristics are inherent in all consumers (not just homo economicus), and require first identification before the right tact is applied to overcoming them.

Perhaps it is the idea that the homo economicus or any “normal” individual could benefit at the expense over others that sounds morally inappropriate; but it is in Men’s basic survival instinct that will drive us towards self preservation, or self enhancement, regardless homo economicus or any other stereotypes.

And this product of modern day development may just have been part of our DNA since the dawn of time.

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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