Contertransference plus the Struggle of Projective Identification

Published: 04th May 2011
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A whole lot has been written and discussed more than the years regarding the psychology of the sales procedure, for example why people today invest in and who they pick out to obtain from. This discussion includes such elements as personality types, buyer motivations, along with the several sales styles with the sales individual involved in the sale. You will find quite a few extra subtle psychological aspects at function that operate beneath the surface of these elements which have not been completely addressed within the sales literature. This posting will address a few of the critical psychological factors at play within the sales method which sales people today should be aware of and take advantage of to improve their sales results.


Advertisers have long known that buyers make buy choice choices on their personal projections. In other words, consumers project aspects of their very own wishes and deepest desires from an advertisement onto themselves each consciously and unconsciously. For instance, the smoker might project the perception of becoming "cool" with smoking and also the advertisers promote this projected image from the buyer by means of the ad. The entire marketing industry is built on this concept of projection. Similarly, in the direct sales method, the buyer consciously or unconsciously projects himself or herself onto the sales individual. The notion is the fact that if the sales individual is intelligent, successful, confident, the buyer is projecting these qualities onto himself in the process of buying from this individual. It could even be that the buyer sees the appealing or youthful sales person as a projection of their own view of themselves. Early psychologists, including Freud and Jung, referred to this procedure as projective identification, and they saw it as important to the relationship in between the therapist and also the patient.


The idea of projective identification applies to any human relationship and is critical to any sales individual or client service representative. In easy terms, it really is the realization that the client is seeking, maybe unconsciously, to acquire some aspect of themselves that they really feel they could be missing, for example self-assurance, intelligence, or any number of qualities. The buyer ends up buying from sales folks who fill the very qualities which they lack, regardless of regardless of whether they actually lack these qualities or if the sales person truly possesses them. Conversly, a consumer could avoid establishing a relationship with a specific sales person displays negative elements of himself or herself. These negative qualities may not be consciously recognized by the buyer, and consequently might be even much more powerful in avoiding people today with comparable qualities, genuine or perceived. These days nevertheless, we realize that core psychological factors are at the heart of all human relationships and interactions, and it would be silly to ignore them.


Now I am not suggesting that these psychological factors are the only elements involved in the sales. Obviously, organizations make purchase decision on rational factors including product capabilities, cost, overall performance, and organization reputation. What I am suggesting is the fact that the psychological factors of the sale are as crucial, in some instances much more essential, than more rational factors. Apple Personal computer understands, by way of example, that projecting an image of Ďbeing coolí is critical to buyers and has effectively incorporated this aspect into its advertisements. Sales individuals who display self-confidence, authority, a certain amount of charm, and intellectual capacity to name several, enhance their very own achievement by playing upon the projections of their buyers. Very simple flaws, for instance carelessness, odd habits, poor dress (previously known as dress for achievement) can directly remind a buyer or prospect of some aspect of themselves that they're disgusted or repulsed. The sales individual who utilizes projected identification to enhance their sales achievement have to at occasions present a blank screen on which the buyer projects their own images. This process of projective identification functions within the very same way as you make an individual else believe that they came up with an thought which you actually conceived initial. Persons naturally like to think their personal suggestions are the most effective.


To several persons, this procedure of using projective identification sound like psychological manipulation. The fact is, unethical sales men and women do use this procedure inside a manipulative manner. The reality remains, nonetheless, that it truly is component from the regular improvement of human relationships and cannot be ignored in enterprise, family, or personal relationships. The current movie, Inception, starring Leonardo Decaprio, gives a Hollywood version but realistic approach towards the significance of projections within the unconscious globe of dreams. Movie stars themselves are basically developed by the publicís projected identification with qualities they feel they lack or wish they possessed.


The lesson of those psychological factors in the sales process are tried and true more than the years. Listed below are just a few of the qualities you would like to possess as a sales person which you might be already familiar with:


Be prompt to all appointments and meetings.



  • Follow via on all commitments.

  • Construct trust by maintaining by sustaining eye get in touch with with the customer

  • Practice actively listening with all the client

  • Stay clear of unnecessary comments or gestures which the buyer could incorrectly interpret (be a blank screen for the customerís projections)

  • Display self-confidence in any way occasions, especially below pressure or negative circumstances

  • Be real, be yourself-otherwise the consumer will detect a lack of authenticity and project negative motivations to your actions or words

  • Work for a corporation that maintains a "cool" image

  • Display high technical abilities in all regions to construct the respect of your consumers.


The skills listed above are the same ones which have been taught to sales people today for decades. The difference is the fact that you might be now armed with the understanding that it can be the customerís projections of the actions and behaviors which are so crucial for your sales achievement, not just the actions and behaviors themselves. Keep in mind, in relation to sales, like all activities in human life, your personal projections interact together with the projections of one's consumers to create reality. Be conscious of the projections and these of your customers. Initially, you may view these efforts as manipulative, but ultimately you might uncover that they are part of everyday life and are required to fulfill your personal objective and mission in life.



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