Today’s Obsession: Tactility in Sales

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The Trib (that’s the Chicago Tribune for non-Chicagoans) has an interesting report up today. This talks about the nature of tactility as a persuasive factor in making purchasing decisions. Essentially, the report says you’re more prone to buy what you can touch.

One kid profiled in the report says that she never buys the article of clothing she tried on because it’s “usually stretched out or something. I try it on and then go back and get the same size.” Um?This is actually fairly common, according to the report: people who try something on will try on the piece nearest to the top, then choose a “fresh” article from further down a pile of items to buy. It’s a sort of “disgust” reaction. (it also makes me totally re-think what I think of people in general.)

So back to the original report. This made me think directly about how we go about selling design, because I’m re-doing our on sales strategies here.

Most designers have a site as a first point of contact, which is ostensibly followed by a phone call or an email. But after reading this, I think that’s the wrong thing to do. I think our sales efforts should be two-pronged: use the site as a place to find detailed, granular information, and create a printed piece to send to potential clients as a tactile experience. In the past, when we’ve done sales, the potential client who gets the well-designed, well-packaged, well-choreographed print piece is the person who’s gonna call you back and convert from a potential sale to a big sale. You just gave them something pleasant to look at, to feel. With the web, you only appeal to two senses at most—sight and sound. Considering the thousands we sell our work for, it stands to reason that the sales effort should be much more personalized.

Food for thought. Anyone else have any particular notions of what’s worked well to sell? I’m all ears.