“Over at 43 Folders, Merlin Mann mentioned the “Sullivan nod,” which, according to Wikipedia, is a “sales technique used to create a subconscious suggestion to a customer to purchase one particular item out of a list of like items.”
“A Sullivan nod is executed by nodding slightly, by approximately 10–15 degrees, when the item it is hoped the customer will choose is reached. The key is to make the nod perceptible, yet subtle, so as to not distract. The nod is best done with lists less than 5 items in length. Studies have concluded that 60–70% of the time, a Sullivan nod will result in the customer choosing the ‘recommended’ item.
The Sullivan nod has been used for years, but I just heard about it. Consultant Jim Sullivan, the creator of this technique, claims it “even works over the phone for room service orders.”
“The nod is best done with lists less than 5 items in length. Originator, restaurant consultant, Jim Sullivan, claims that up to 60% of the time, a Sullivan nod will result in the customer choosing the ‘recommended’ item. (Sullivan, Jim (2004-09-01). If you’re not out selling you’re being outsold. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.) Sullivan developed the nod technique as a method to increase appetizer sales.
Readers: Anyone ever done this when showing various product package or business package options?
I haven’t used the Sullivan nod, but I know when I used to be a cocktail waitress, if I thought my customers had had enough to drink, I would say, “You don’t want another round, do you?” Usually they would say no, they were done, but if they hadn’t been drinking that much, I would say, “You ready for another round?” and they would agree. It was all in the question.
I am intrigued that he says it even works over the phone. Since my customers call me, I will give it a try. If it works I’ll let you know.
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